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One Psychologist per 512 Students

The Region currently has a total of 80 psychologists working within the education sector, of which 32 are permanently at the service of schools and 48 are accompanying students from the services of the Regional Secretariat of Education, Science, and Technology.

The figures mentioned by the Regional Secretary of Education, Jorge Carvalho, who further stated that Madeira has a ratio of one psychologist to 512 students, data that represents “the lowest ratio in the country” and that follow the standards of recommendation by the Order of Psychologists and international organisations.

In fact, according to the most recent report of the National Council of Education, titled ‘State of Education 2021,’ in the last school year in Portugal, there was a ratio of one psychologist to 744 students. It should be noted that several international reference organisations suggest that the ratio should not exceed 500 to 700 students per psychologist.

“We always want more, but we understand that this ratio is already very acceptable,” said Jorge Carvalho on the sidelines of the conference ‘I, others and the world – new and old challenges in human relations’, promoted this Wednesday by the Regional Delegation of Madeira of the Order of Psychologists, at the Jesuit College.

Jorge Carvalho points out that, at this time, Madeira has 41,000 students who all have access to psychological support at any time.

He understands, that existing school psychologists are positively received and are sufficient for current student needs, especially as the number of students is decreasing.  However, he acknowledges, that if there is the possibility of recruiting more mental health care professionals within the educational sector, actual pupil-psychologist response times will be quicker.

Samantha Gannon

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